Are You an Undiagnosed Pre-diabetic and What Can You Do Before it is Too Late?

It almost felt like someone had punched me in the stomach when I heard for the first time that “India is known as the diabetes capital of the world”. India like most modern societies is suffering from diabetes. Almost everyone in India knows someone in the family or in friend circle that have diabetes but what a lot of people are unaware of is that there are a number of people are at risk of being prediabetic or might be pre-diabetic and have no idea about it. The reason for this is that most people are not getting check ups due to no time or are unaware of the symptoms and risk factors.

How did this happen? Where did we go wrong? What if we can reverse this trend by creating awareness and taking appropriate actions? Diabetes like other lifestyle related diseases has a pre phase, you are not declared diabetic all of a sudden. 

Here are some of the obvious reasons why you should consider yourself at a risk of being a prediabetic:

Family history of diabetes
Family history of dementia, Yes the brain is damaged by fluctuations in blood sugar. 
Sleep disorders, fatigue, and irritability. These are signs of a stressed body. 
Overweight or obesity (A simple test without using the weighing scale is to stand in front of a mirror naked and jump. If you see some jiggle & shake around belly then you might be at a risk)
Smoking can lead to insulin resistance that can lead to type 2 diabetes 
Stressed due to career, relationships. Emotional stress can negatively impact blood glucose control and can contribute to insulin resistance.
Economically better off people who can afford conveniences in kitchen, eat out more often, are too busy to practice self care, spend a lot of time on electronic media sitting at a stretch for hours, and less time on moving their bodies throughout the day.
Some of the other reasons why your doctor might diagnose you as at risk of being a prediabetic or diabetic are:

Impaired glucose levels 
Cardiovascular disease
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Increased triglycerides levels
Low levels of good cholesterol (HDL)
Women who have had gestational diabetes,had high birth weight babies (greater than 9 lbs.), and/or have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

As this disease progresses it can cause damage tothe cells, tissues, organs.  Elevated blood sugar levels and fluctuations over time can lead to metabolic syndrome, adult onset diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. Unless the disease is cured it can lead to the development of various diabetic complications such as dental problems, blindness, kidney failure, depression, and amputation even if the blood sugar and other levels like triglycerides, cholesterol etc., are controlled by drugs or by natural treatments. People with diabetes are also at a higher risk of heart disease, foot problems, nerve damage, dental disease, and skin problems, such as infections, sores, itching, and even cancer.

Most of the time pre-diabetes is undiagnosed. Even if it is diagnosed in an effort to lower blood glucose levels and restore the body's normal response to insulin, physicians may prescribe drugs normally used to treat type 2 diabetes but those are not as effective as making dietary and lifestyle changes. Drugs like metformin reduce blood sugar levels only when its levels are raised and not otherwise. You might have heard the good news that this deadly disease can be stopped, reversed or cured by lifestyle and dietary changes. The new & exciting field of epigenetics gives the hope that “Genes are not your destiny”. 

Some of the steps that you can take today to may be stop, reverse or cure this deadly disease are:

Recognizing the problem by getting tested is the first step. Your fasting blood sugar should be less than 100 mg/dl. Please discuss with your physician if you are a pre-diabetic.
-Making 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week a priority. Do not sit at one place for more than 30 minutes straight through out the day, get up stretch or take a short walk. 
-Eliminating processed foods, refined chemically processed oils, and artificial sweeteners from your diet. Eat foods that are grown without pesticide whenever you can. Meals prepared by soaking, sprouting, fermenting etc decreases the stress on digestive system. Eat traditional cuisines that are wholesome and provide complete nutrition rather instant and fast food preparations as much as possible. Include local and seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet. Frozen is many times a good option too.
-Sit down and chew meals slowly, a lesson that digestion begins in mouth we all learned in high school and have forgotten about it. Sitting in front of TV, computer, or while standing , in a car etc will also make you eat more.  Turn on some calming music for those 20 minutes when you are chewing a nourishing meal. Eating with mindfulness is an effective method to reduce stress and improve digestive health and eating behaviors.
-Drink enough clean water as dehydration is sometimes mistaken as a sign of hunger. 
-Reduce stress and electronic exposure especially after sunset. Sleeping in a room with zero artificial lights and with no electronic lights exposure one hour before sleep. A tired and sleep deprived body demands more food than it actually needs and makes wrong choices of meals.
-Starting today meditating for at least 10 minutes a day twice without fail to reduce stress.


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